159038 Disparities in health provider communication perceptions among selected social and health status groups of American women: Implications for practice, policy and public health

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ray Marks, EdD , Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
Haean Ok, EdD , Health Education, Mokwon University and Teachers College, New York, NY
John Allegrante, PhD , Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
Several provider-client communication tasks are central to public health practices and optimal health outcomes. In particular, providers who counsel women must be able to consistently attend to their needs in a responsive, empathetic, respectful, culturally sensitive and inclusive way. However, little is known about how consistently providers who counsel women, listen, explain, spend time, respect or include them in decision making in the context of diverse social and health status factors that may impact the communication process adversely. Objective: To examine women's perceptions of their primary provider's communication practices using a large representative sample. Methods: We analyzed survey responses of 3848 American women to five questions that asked these women how frequently their primary care provider had performed five key communication activities in the past year. The data analyzed were embedded in the 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey, a public data base of the National Cancer Institute, and the items used were the 5 health provider communication items. Results: 1. Respondents consistently reported providers did not always perform the five communication related tasks surveyed. 2. These perceptions of less than optimal communication between provider and patient occurred regardless of provider professional status. 3. Being Hispanic, in poor health, depressed, unemployed, uninsured, and young were variables associated with significantly lower perceptions providers always performed the five communication activities (p < .001). Conclusion: To better support Healthy People 2010 goals, public health practitioners must ensure all women have optimal opportunities to be informed, respected, listened to, and included in health-related decisions.

Learning Objectives:
1.To highlight the importance of provider communication in the health counseling process. 2.To highlight women’s perceptions of this process using a large representative population of American women, that over sampled for African American and Hispanic women. 3.To highlight disparities in provider communication efforts as perceived by women across five key communication constructs that need to be addressed by educators, public health practitioners, health service providers, and policy makers.

Keywords: Women's Quality Care, Patient Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Teachers College Health Education Professor

Any company-sponsored training? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.